Why are we near 2008 Sales Prices for Orange County Florida?

So the question is, “Why are we near 2008 Sales Prices for homes in Orange County Florida?”

The simple answer…the demand is higher than the supply. For the first time since August 2008, the median price of Orlando-area homes has crossed the $200,000 mark, the Orlando Regional Realtor Association reports.town-home-327839_1920 SOLD

The median price of Orlando homes sold during the month of May 2016 — $203,000 — increased more than 12 percent compared to May 2015’s $181,000. Month-over-month, the median price is up 5.73 percent compared to the April median of $192,000 and has now experienced year-over-year increases for the past 58 consecutive months.

The current inventory combined with the current pace of sales created a 3.17-month supply of homes in Orlando for May. There was a 3.79-month supply in May 2015 and a 3.29-month supply last month. This supply is truly not enough to keep up with the demand of the buyers in this market.

Here’s a look at how May sales did county by county:

  • Lake: 7.46 percent above May 2015
  • Orange: 4.13 percent above May 2015
  • Osceola: 6.38 percent above May 2015
  • Seminole: 8.4 percent above May 2015

Monthly Housing Statistics for Florida Counties June 2016

“Orlando’s inventory of available homes is 11 percent below where it was this time last year and continues to impact both sales and price,” said ORRA President John Lazenby. “Regardless, we are seeing a small trend of increasing sales that illustrates buyer enthusiasm for our current historically low interest rates and steadily rising values.”

Also reported by the Florida Realtors Association, the same goes for the entire state of Florida.

When you examine the current mortgage rates available in the low 3% range, it is no wonder our real estate market in Central Florida and specifically in Orange County is so hot right now. This is great for buyers who are qualified for these great rates! So if you are a homeowner who is considering listing their home for sale, you should seriously review what it could sell for with a Realtor. We can guide you as to what your neighborhood and home type would dictate for a listing price for your home. Contact Me Today to start the discuss of listing your home for sale!

Sotheby’s International Realty® is a registered trademark licensed to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity.

2016 Copyright Theresa M. Kraa, Realtor ®

Prime Example of Reinvesting in Historic Orlando with Samsara Townhouses

Samsara Townhouses & Mission Homes LLC

Exterior 2 800x600When someone talks about preserving historic properties, Orlando is not usually the first city to come to mind but that climate is changing and we welcome it! While taking some time out last weekend to enjoy our local Parade of Homes hosted by the Greater Orlando Builders Association (GOBA) we had the opportunity to experience first hand what can be done to re-purpose a historic property here in Downtown Orlando. This property was a former church built in 1928 that will now be enjoyed and cherished for generations as 5 townhouses. Many people have seen former churches re-purposed as homes in the northern states, but this is not as common here in Florida. In this case, developer Mark Kinchla with his company, Mission Homes LLC, saw the opportunity to create something unique to Orlando and save a historic property from potential demolition multiple times. These town homes will be three and a half stories tall, 3 bedrooms, 3-1/2 bathrooms with a rooftop terrace with exceptional views of Downtown Orlando.

Photo Copyright Credit to Mission Homes LLC
Photo Copyright Credit to Mission Homes LLC

Speaking of Downtown, this property is located one block from famed Lake Eola, the largest city park in Orlando which hosts many festivals and events throughout the year, even weekly yoga in the park. The restaurants and nightlife of Orlando and Thornton Park are only a 5 minute walk or a quick ride on the “Juice” Bikes or with a Pedi-Cab at your door. The photo here shows just one of the festivals held throughout the year on Robinson Street and if you look DSCN2364 800x600closely at the top left corner, you will see what will become Samsara. This photo was taken around April 2013 for the Spring Fiesta from a high rise condo tower nearby.

Samsara stands for “rebirth” and one cannot disagree that this has been achieved with this beautiful property. At the time of this posting, only two of the five units created are still available for purchase. The only unit open for the Parade of Homes has to be the most unique as it is located on the East Side of the Building with an abundance of natural light as you will see in the photo gallery presented below. The formal address is 331 Cathcart Avenue, Orlando. This unit is also unique as it has two entrances, one on the lower level next to the garage and one on the second level that is accessible from the original church exterior stairs. You can help but stand in wonderment as you enter the beautiful arched double doors on this level and wonder how many people in the past crossed that threshold as they worshiped in this regal church for many decades. This is where we will start our photographic journey in the gallery below. Please enjoy the beauty that this property will bring generations to come and let me know in the comments which room or feature is your favorite!

If you would like more information regarding this property please feel free to contact me and I can arrange a personal tour, as long as they are still available. I wouldn’t delay as the remaining units will not last long in this hot market!

To view the offical Samsara website, please Click Here. I also have a short video below from Fox35 highlighting this property.

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”3″ gal_title=”Samsara Townhomes – Downtown Orlando”]

Sotheby’s International Realty® is a registered trademark licensed to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity.

2016 Copyright Theresa M. Kraa, Realtor ®

Country style house

Have you seen a Zombie Home in your neighborhood?


Beware of the “Zombie Foreclosure House!” If you are not familiar with this term, that’s ok, but I would bet anything you’ve seen one in your neighborhood!

This term came across my radar when reading my news feeds and this article posted by Inman News popped up. Now who could resist the headline of, “Is the Zombie Foreclosure eating your client’s property value?” Basically, it means that the home that looks abandoned within your neighborhood is affecting your home’s value whether you Country style housethink it is or not. Once abandoned, the property becomes overgrown or damaged from storms with no one to maintain it. It becomes a target for vandals, thieves and code violations. You can easily identify them, just take a quick drive through your neighborhood and count how many you see.

Please keep in mind that this article is written with the audience being a Realtor concerned about their client, but this also applies to any homeowner who is concerned about their neighborhood and housing values. Inman News is a highly regarded news and education outlet for the real estate industry and is a must read for those in the industry.

First, I suggest that you take a moment to read the article in it’s entirety as it will help to understand the point that they are trying to make. There is a great image shown there that pulls you through what a “Zombie Foreclosure” is and what you as a fellow homeowner can do about one. It is provided by a local attorney’s office as you will see at the bottom of the image.

*Disclaimer: I do not endorse this attorney in any way and have not conducted any business with them so I have no feedback on their performance. I just admired their graphic designed image for the article.


Now to get to the reason why I am posting this. I think there are more options as to what people can do to help eliminate these Zombie homes in their neighborhoods. Yes it is true that a majority of these homes are probably in a foreclosure situation, but you may find that there are more out there that are just abandoned for one reason or another. If they are simply abandoned, they can be saved much faster than if they are in foreclosure. Let’s expand on that.

The article states that Florida is in the top 6 states that contain zombie foreclosures. As a matter of fact, it is the #1 State. The article also states fairly accurately the percentages that your (loved) home is losing value by being near these types of homes. With this said, have you heard of anyone in your neighborhood doing anything about these homes? They do give some options in the article on how to “Kill the Zombie Foreclosure” in your neighborhood, so let’s examine these.

  1. Cut the grass and maintain the yard
  2. Establish a neighborhood watch
  3. Let HOA know of the abandoned home
  4. Contact owner and make aware of incentives
  5. Increase lender’s awareness of vacated foreclosure home

Ok, let’s start with #1. We agree that this is a good idea for anyone in the neighborhood as it shows that someone is watching the property, so that criminals won’t be prone to scope out your area of town. Ask any police official and they will tell you that if all the homes in a neighborhood are maintained, they will move on.

#2. This is a good idea in general for any neighborhood. There may already be an established group in your area but if not, there are lots of resources that your local government and police may be able to assist with.

#3. This obviously only applies if you have an HOA, but our bet is that they already know about the abandoned home. As one of the first things a homeowner will stop paying, even over their mortgage is their HOA dues. They are most likely already in the process of their own foreclosure on the property.

#4. & #5. Now if you have lots of free time to spend locating the homeowner and to find out who the lender is, maybe you should work in real estate! Most people won’t take the initiative to do this part and honestly, most people don’t want to get involved at this level. I don’t blame them, as foreclosure is not a proud moment in anyone’s financial portfolio and I doubt you want to get into that conversation if you do reach the homeowner. They may have some choice words for you that I don’t need to elaborate on.

Super Hero Neighborhood

So what else can you do as a local homeowner who is concerned about their home’s value and the safety of their neighborhood? Besides putting on your cape and spandex, I can offer some suggestions that are a little less embarrassing….. first, contact me!! I am a licensed real estate agent who will take the time to research and contact the homeowner to offer solutions. Simple as that. Let me help you be the Hero and give you the credit!! 

So, go ahead and contact me with your concern and let me do the work to better your neighborhood and home value by working with these homeowners. I can either offer them solutions or possibly line a buyer who will purchase these zombie properties to either rehab them or tear them down to rebuild a new home. Both of which will restore your home’s value much faster than if waiting for the home to go through foreclosure. Realtors act quickly which gives you back the great neighborhood that you deserve. 

If you have a zombie property in your neighborhood, feel free to send me a quick email with the address and I will check it out to see if I can contact the owners to inquire about their intentions with the property. We ask for an email instead of leaving the address in the comment section so that we can protect the privacy of the property owner. If you prefer to call, you can reach me at 407-748-9693.

Our last note: If you go the bottom of the image within the original article linked above, it states, “an occupied home is a happy home!” That couldn’t be truer and that is my goal as well! Let’s get rid of the Zombie Homes in your neighborhood!!

Sotheby’s International Realty® is a registered trademark licensed to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity.

2015 Copyright Theresa M. Kraa, Realtor ®


Flag Hats

Orlando Realtors Give Back to Veterans in a Special Way… A New Home!

For many of us who can only see (but not experience first hand) the challenges our fellow military personnel face when they return home, can only wish that we could do something for them. Well, members of our Orlando community have stepped up and they are our local Realtors and members of the city government.

This is a program that involved the local realtors association as well as the city of Orlando, who have come together to provide “mortgage free” homes to veterans. It only warms the heart to read how this will change the lives of these men and women who have served their country. You can only imagine how this will affect their entire family to create a positive future for all of them.

We encourage you to take a moment to read the article posted on the Orlando Sentinel to get the full story. We will be following the story ourselves and look forward to seeing this program expand in many neighborhoods across America!



Sotheby’s International Realty® is a registered trademark licensed to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity.

2015 Copyright Theresa M. Kraa, Realtor ®